Concerns about the form of the Toffees have risen since Frank Lampard became head coach, and a beating in the quarter-finals of the FA CUP marks another low in their devastating season.
Everton left it late in their previous win against Newcastle, but they have been unable to build on that momentum as they suffered a humiliating defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.
Everton, as they have this season, started brightly by creating many opportunities to score in the opening minutes, but weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. Fortunes would then change as the Toffees were on the verge of elimination after conceding two goals in the first half.
Shortly after the 25th minute, Micheal Olise sent in a dangerous delivery from a set-piece in which the unmarked Marc Guehi nodded home from close range. Mateta would double his team’s lead with a low finish after brilliant play from Eberechi Eze and Wilf Zaha.
Frank Lampard’s team talk at half-time did little to inspire any improvements as Crystal Palace continued to exert their dominance on the pitch. Zaha increased the lead to three with a dramatic goal as Olise’s shot deemed to be going wide hit the outside post and fell to Zaha who tapped in from close range. Jordan Pickford impressively denied Conor Gallagher in the 88th minute, Hughes followed up to add a fourth as Patrick Vieira’s side are Wembley bound.
The loss was Everton’s second massive defeat in four games after a 5-0 demolition to Tottenham. Their current form will raise serious questions about the post-Benitez regime, which has witnessed six losses in its first ten games – a striking similarity to their previous form.
The steep form is still there, but theIr sloppiness in front of goal is a bigger concern. After Lampard’s appointment, he opted for the signatures of Anwar El-ghazi, Dele Alli, and United’s outcast Donny Van De Beek to bolster his midfield options, but all of his signings have done nothing to improve his team’s current offensive mishap.
What may be more worrisome is that their defensive performances are below par, with the loss to Tottenham confining Everton to their worst point tally in history after 25 games. In addition, the Toffees are only three points ahead of the relegation places and have now conceded 47 Premier League goals this season- the fifth-worst defensive stat this season.
Frank Lampard never ceases to throw his players ‘under the bus’ after heavy losses. Most recently, indicating Anthony Gordon was the only player to put into a good shift in the 5-0 defeat to Tottenham. This did nothing but bring criticism to his management, and Everton’s alarming form will be a stern test of Lampard’s capacity as a manager and will put pressure on the 43-year-old.
It will be interesting to see how Lampard performs his magic around his team’s torrid form to avoid relegation to the second division of the Premier League.
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